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Kit's Wilderness

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,118 ratings  ·  289 reviews
The Printz Award–winning classic gets a new look.

Written in haunting, lyrical prose, Kit’s Wilderness examines the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and explores how meaning and beauty can be revealed from the depths of darkness.

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit’s recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John
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Audiobook, 0 pages
Published March 7th 2000 by Random House Audio (first published May 20th 1999)
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Ricky
This book is amazing; the story is creative very dark and dappled with light throughout and moved towards a wonderful creative ending. The story is original and wonderfully crafted together, showing the brilliance of David Almond writing skills. After reading Skellig I thought how could David Almond ever match this book, but he proved me wrong; he not only matched it he may have just surpassed it. As the story progresses Kit (the main character in the book) starts to write a story that links int ...more
Kim

Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years… 15 years that I could have carried Kit and his story with me.

It almost eluded me once again, when I noticed the author, David Almond, I knew that name. A sudden surge, like a warm fuzzie or a premenopausal hot flash overcame me. Skellig.
Yes. Now, I remember.

David Almond has this incredible talent. His voice. He rambles, he doesn’t use paragraphs
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Lisa is Busy Nerding
in a sentence: A story based journey with Kit Watson through the semi-dream/semi-reality experience in his family's hometown during his Grandfather's final times.

The story begins simply enough, with the coming home again to support a Grandfather during the loss of his Grandmother. We journey with Kit as he starts a new school, meets new people, and uncovers a plethora of family history within this small town that goes back hundreds of years. There is a genuine goodness in Kit, and a strong desir
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Afton Nelson
Somehow David Almond is able to craft stories that are both dark and meaningful, deep and beautiful. I can't imagine a kid falling in love with this story right away. Rather, it seems like a story that lends itself to examination, lots of thought and discussion.
Cynthia Egbert
I do not even know where to begin with how much I love this book. Mr. Almond really speaks to my heart. Small England coal mining town, ancestors, major supernatural elements, family and relationships, and all of this woven with beautiful skill into a wonderful story. This is written for youth but it does have elements of real darkness that may affect some more than others. This book felt like reading something by Bradbury mixed with Susan Cooper with a dash of Hans Christian Anderson for good m ...more
Sarah Brutsch
With a title that sounds misleadingly like an American Girl story, I had pretty low expectations for the book and no idea what it was about. My mistake. This book was WONDERFUL! Kit Watson has a gift for seeing ghosts and for storytelling, and these gifts enable him to befriend a boy deeply jaded and hurt by experiences in life. I did wonder sometimes if the themes were specific for a YA audience, since it wasn't your typical misunderstood teen/sexuality/identity exploration I think we too often ...more
Kirby
I grew up in an old coal-mining town in Kentucky. I never played death, probably because the miners still work there. However, the connection to the past and the land really resonated with me. The Askews and the Watsons are like the Steeles and the Cobbs, where I'm from. When people see me, they see my grandfather. He died when my mom was only six, but I know him. Sometimes it's like how Kit found his name on the monument, I feel like my ancestors live through me. I hear stories, see pictures, a ...more
Zora
This Printz award winner is a fine piece of literature, one of those YA books that any adult should like, too.

Kit's family returns to the coal mining town where his ancestors have been for generations and Kit gets engaged in game-playing, story-telling, a girl, a tough boy, and connecting with his aging grandfather. But that's not all the book is about. It's about death, and life, and ghosts, and deep time (plate tectonics, the coal), and inheritances, and decency and commitment and imagination.
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Scott
The best phrase I can think of to describe this story is somewhat paradoxical: "darkly sublime." It's so rich throughout, I don't think my words can come close to doing it justice here. My sister recommended that I read it after quoting a writing expert who said this book is a "master class" on how to create tone. I wholeheartedly agree.

In his appended author's note, David Almond writes "I think that stories are living things--among the most important things in the world." He certainly practices
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Justin
I don't really understand this book at all, but I know I loved it.
Kaethe
Almond writes a mixture of fantasy and reality that feels like a few too many sleepless nights in a row. It works.
Molly
I have such complicated feelings towards this book. I was not fond of Skellig, though I read it a lot while ago when I was preparing to teach high school English. Now I occasionally teach college and when I read YA or Teen, I think more towards building a good library for my children, now 4 and 2.

I'd want to read this one alongside one of my kids, so we could talk about it. There are a great number of layers, which would make it an interesting book to teach, though due to some cyclical uses of
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Ofa Fotu
THAT was a really good book. It was SOOOO creepy, but just for the fact that I was able to have that much of an emotional response speaks volumes for the effectiveness of the writing. It has alot of themes of death and motifs of re-birth. It would seem like a ghost story at first, but isn't so much a story about death as much as it is a story about life. It turns out to be a very uplifting read (read it in one day - -I split the read in two and the first night I was freaked out so much I couldn' ...more
Alyssa
Alyssa Morres
Award Winner

The book "Kit’s Wilderness" is a story about gaining friendships and reaching for your dreams it takes place in a small England town that is known for its coal mining. Kit the main character gets pulled into the past by Askew, a neighborhood kid, who plays the game of death in an old mining cave. In the end Kit and Askew become great friends and learn from each other about life and each of their pasts. Since this book took place in England it was hard to grasp the langua
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Moira McPartlin
Kit Watson and his family return to the mining village where his ancestors lived and worked. He is drawn into the childish game of Death in the wilderness of old pit workings and a story unfolds of friendship, death and the meaning of belonging.
Although this is a YA book it is very dark and well suited to an adult read. The relationship between Kit and his grandfather is particularly well drawn. The plot had touches of a Stephen King style but this was gentler and more thoughtful. This is the ki
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Jaclyn Franzen
I honestly feel indifferent about this book. It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either. I felt the author did a great job explaining specific details as the story progressed. However, I found myself losing track of the plot line in the story. Therefore, it was hard to comprehend at times. In addition, the author captivates the reader's emotion throughout the novel. I felt fearful of Christopher Watson's life when he was alone with Askew. I thought that Askew was definitely going to kill Chr ...more
Devery
I'm not sure I could give you a synopsis of what this story was about... because there's not exactly a plot line. This was one of the most interesting books I have ever read, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I would have to read it a second time to really grasp what the meaning of everything is, and what the point of the story is. I will try my best to mention a few things that I thought were particularly thought-provoking.

I noticed a big theme of darkness, and how darkness is ass
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Yami
there was something about this book,I bought this novel twice..TWICE, cos of totally different editions, and buying lots of books cos you only liked the sound of it without really knowing the story or read for the author before, so with this one I ended getting with two copies cos I have the same way of thinking even with more than a year gap.

Do I regret it?! NOP this one WAS made to find me, the story is deep, with lovely metaphor, and complicated simpleness, it is like reading Lord of the Flie
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Peter
This is such a powerful story that is spellbinding. Christopher Watson,Kit, moves back to live in Stoneygate with his parents after the death of his paternal grandmother to a place where the roots of his family run deep. There he finds that he has a natural affinity not only with his grandfather, but also the other ancient rooted families and the very earth itself.

There is a predominant theme of healing in this story. Newcomer Kit forms an unlikely alliance with John Askew, regarded my many as a
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Xander
I have to say that this book surprised me. I had taken it out of the library merely to research a different kind of children's book to help me with my own writing. I chose it based purely because it was David Almond's book and I had thought that the other books of his that I had read had been interesting enough to take a look at more. Based on the blurb about this book, I was sure that I would read a couple chapters, flip through it and read the ending. Next! Not so.

The blurb tells about Kit who
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Leah Blair
I'm not really sure what to think about this one. I enjoyed the prose and the way it was written, but the plot is kind of a head-scratcher to me. There's a lot going on, and in my mind none of the subplots really connected in a way that made sense.

(I guess I should say SPOILERS now)

I applaud Almond for writing such a strange and deeply-layered "children's book". Here are my problems with it, though. I never understood the world of Stoneygate. At first, without instruction from the author, I assu
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Wags
Kit moves to an English village that used to center around coal-mining. He enters a world where life and death and ancestry become intertwined within the harsh internal and external landscape.
David Almond amazed me with this book. I did not expect to like such a dark read, but I loved it. The story is intriguing on its own, and yet transcends. It is eerie and sophisticated. Mystical, mythical, imaginative, and believable.
Benet Benton
I was angry when I finished this book. I was angry that the world was taken away from me as fast as it was given. After reading the teaser on the first page, you wonder whether it’s all some kind of metaphor or child’s play. But you keep reading, because it seems that there is a much deeper meaning than just the simple words on the page. And there is. In the town of Stoneygate, Kit Watson makes an unlikely friend; John Askew. Askew claims they are exactly alike, as in they both had relatives of ...more
Linda Lipko
Yet another Young Adult book that deals with very heavy subjects such as the love of family and friends, sacrifice, death, alcoholism, abuse, the need to fit in and conversely the importance of finding individuality and oneself amid peer pressure.

This coming of age tale seen through the eyes of Christopher "Kit" Watson is compellingly beautiful.

In order to care for Kit's aging, ailing grandfather, his family moves to the village of Stonegate, previously a coal mining town and scene of tragic d
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Jennifer
A story that starts out deceptively simple, and then quickly whirls you into something far more intense. It keeps you on its toes, playing like it'll dive off the deep end at any time. Some parts are downright supernaturally disturbing, and just when you think the author will go for the jugular, he pulls back just enough to keep your heart racing but not in full panic.

Since the cover is already muted in shades of grey, I didn't even know that this was categorized with the similarly colored "horr
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Mahistar
*sigh* okay let's begin. First off, their is absolutely NO PLOT LINE! It's supposed to be a mystery but it's just a bunch of coincidences that barely connect. The character of Kit is also so weak and gullible. He follows the character of John Askew so blindly and willingly, it's not even as if he Askew is this kind, sweet guy who makes you want to jump off a cliff if he tells you to. Nope. He is brutish and kind of like a thug. Anyone with actual sense in their head would be like,

"Nope, he's ob
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Laurie
The heartbreakingly real world of coal mining is fused with magic, ghosts, and the power of friendship, family, and memory. YA
Andrew Backs
5Q 4P MJS

Kit is a young man in transition. He and his family have moved to a remote mining village in England to take care of his ailing Grandfather who moves in and out of moments of reality and dreams. Kit loves the stories of the village's past. They are tales of suspense and adventure of former souls who roamed the surrounding wilderness. Viewed as an outcast in his new school, Kit makes friends with the eccentric Allie Keenan and draws the attention of the mysterious Askew.

The stories of hi
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Devon
If you like strange, eery and slightly confusing novels, Kit’s Wilderness is a must read. However, if that kind of book is not your cup of tea, then Kit’s Wilderness is one book that you can skip reading without any remorse. The plot of this book seemed to go absolutely nowhere. The story was a little intriguing with the idea of ghosts and the figures that Kit and Askew could see, but the relation of the ghostly figures to the actual plot never really seemed to connect. It did not seem like a lo ...more
Lisa
Themes: light/darkness, change, death, peer pressure, supernatural elements, redemption

I can't say enough good about this book. It was amazing. Christopher Watson, a boy who loves to write stories, is the quiet, new kid in the mining town of Stoneygate in northern England, where most of his ancestors also lived. Shortly after he arrives, he learns that he shares a name with a boy who died in the mine 100+ years before, and because of this distinguishing characteristic, he is invited to play a h
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David Almond is a British children's writer who has penned several novels, each one to critical acclaim. He was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. When he was young, he found his love of writing when some short stories of his were published in a local magazine. He started out as an author of adult fiction be ...more
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“There's light and joy, but there's also darkness all around and we can be lost in it.” 21 likes
“Everybody's got the seam of goodness in them, Kit," said Grandpa. "Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.” 15 likes
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